The Market House in Ross-on-Wye has been boarded up in preparation for restoration and conservation work to begin.

Until the end of September, the Market House will be undergoing restoration, repairs and specialist conservation to fix its extensive stone erosion. 

There are also a number of legacy projects set to take place, including new interpretation boards explaining the history of the building.

The scaffolding is surrounding the building for health and safety purposes and will remain there until work is complete. The town council hopes to get local artists creating artwork on these boards. 

The Ross-on-Wye Town Council website explains why the work is taking place during peak tourism season. It says: “The harsh winter months are not an ideal time to be undertaking re-roofing works and detailed stone repairs and any works which involve lime mortars which should only be done in condition 5 degrees Celsius or above, otherwise the cold weather especially near freezing affects the curing process of lime mortars. The tendering process and availability of the contractor has also had an influence on when the works are being undertaken.”

The restoration is being funded by the Town Council, as well as grant funding from The National Lottery Heritage Fund, The Wolfson Foundation and The Pilgrim Trust. 

The weekly markets are continuing as normal and following numerous discussions with market traders, the market will remain on the apron area despite space being limited. As compensation, there will be a reduction of trader fees implemented until the work is finished. 

The 16th century Market House is one of the oldest buildings in the centre of Ross-on-Wye and is focal point of the town. Built between 1650 and 1654 replacing the older, probably wooden Booth Hall, it has its origins in the 12th century when King Stephen granted the town the right to hold a market in the area which stimulated the economy and encouraged trade.

On the upper floor of the Market House is the Made In Ross gallery where you can view and buy high-quality arts and crafts made by local people.